Holiday Spirit is the Focus of December Meeting:
The best way to end a long and challenging year is by sharing good food and drink with good friends. That is why you should attend the NCVOA General Membership Meeting Thursday, December 14 at The Westbury Manor in Westbury. This meeting traditionally is our annual Holiday Reception, a fun-filled evening where we spread holiday cheer among our members.
Please note the meeting day change in days from the typical Tuesday to Thursday. We look forward to seeing you December 14, 2017
Puerto Rican actress Joyce Giraud once said, “Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.”
I thought this Thanksgiving quote by a native Puerto Rican was especially significant this year, given Hurricane Maria’s massive destruction of Puerto Rico. The photos and reports of the island’s widespread devastation are heart wrenching. We pray that all those impacted by this natural disaster, as well as those in Houston still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, can remain strong and recover quickly.
I hope this Thanksgiving was enjoyable for you and your families, and you were able to spend quality time together. With so much strife and negativity in the world today, it is more important than ever we take time to pause, reflect and realize how fortunate we are to live in the United States. Despite all its flaws and inequities, this remains the greatest country in the world. We may not agree with each other, but it is comforting to know we can pursue our dreams, express our personal opinions, and practice our religious beliefs without oppression.
Election Results Trigger a Monumental Shift in County and Town Governments
After listening to the Nassau County Executive candidates articulate their positions and visions at the NCVOA-sponsored debate in October, it was clear the NCVOA was in a win-win situation. Both Republican candidate Jack Martins and Democratic candidate Laura Curran expressed strong support for the NCVOA’s key initiatives, particularly a guaranteed percentage of sales tax sharing with villages. In an extremely close contest, voters selected Laura Curran to be the Nassau County’s first female county executive.
While he did not finish on top of the county executive race, Jack Martins always will be on top with the NCVOA. I would like to publicly thank Jack for his years of unwavering commitment to village government. Jack took the passion and commitment he displayed as a village mayor with him to Albany, where he truly made a difference as a highly respected state senator. His collaborative, bi-partisan efforts with Democratic Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel benefitted our county residents and we are forever grateful for his service. I hope we see Jack return to public service soon.
Congratulations to Laura Curran for running a very focused and successful campaign. Her message loudly resonated among voters as they selected her to lead the change they believe must occur in county government. I have worked with Laura during her tenure as a county legislator and found her to be action oriented. An engaged listener, she always was ready to support issues affecting Village of Freeport residents. I am confident that as county executive she will broaden that commitment to all Nassau County villages. I already have reached out to the County Executive-elect to immediately establish a forum for regular communication with the NCVOA.
Nassau County is not the only level of government experiencing a change in leadership as Town of Hempstead residents elected its first Democratic supervisor in more than a century. Democrat Laura Gillen, an attorney from Rockville Centre, upset incumbent Republican Anthony Santino. We congratulate Supervisor-elect Gillen and look forward to working with her and her new administration.
I also would like to congratulate Judi Bosworth on being re-elected to her third term as North Hempstead Town Supervisor and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joe Saladino, who was elected to his first full term after being appointed supervisor earlier this year.
Villages Band Together to Show Support for Increasing Sales Tax Sharing
When I began my term as NCVOA President, one of the top priorities I announced was my focus on securing for villages a guaranteed portion of the sales tax equal to the percentage already granted to the towns and cities. Both county executive candidates committed to supporting this position during the recent campaign. This requires a change in state law, so the final decision rests in the hands of our state legislators. That is why it is critical we demonstrate a groundswell of support from the villages and the county.
I recently sent a letter to each NCVOA village requesting the village sign and return this letter of support for equitable sales tax sharing. I am pleased to report 61 of 64 NCVOA villages have signed and returned the letter. I have reached out to the remaining 3 villages to ensure we have 100% participation. As I mentioned previously, this will be our first agenda item with County Executive-elect Curran so we can secure a Home Rule message to send to our state legislators in time for the upcoming legislative session.
November Speakers Help Villages Earn Revenue
Attendees at the November 14 General Membership Meeting received beneficial tips on generating additional revenue for their villages. How to Increase Interest Revenues and Save Money was the topic of the panel discussion featuring local banking and municipal financial experts Patricia Mezeul from Flushing Bank; Shawn Cullinane, NYCLASS; Mathew Lickett, TD Bank; and Michael Locorriere, Empire National Bank. In addition to an overview of the general market conditions and rate environment, they provided valuable information on permitted investment options and other avenues for increasing earnings on village revenue. I understand several villages reached out to a few of our speakers the following day to explore pursuing some of the options discussed at the meeting. I would like to thank our panel for an enlightening presentation and discussion on this important topic.
December 14 Holiday Reception
The upcoming December 14 General Membership Meeting will be our annual Holiday Reception. This is a great opportunity to spend time with your colleagues from other villages and enjoy the holiday spirit. I hope you are able to join us at the Westbury Manor, beginning at 6:30 pm.
On behalf of the officers and Executive Committee, I wish you and your families a safe and joyous holiday season and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!
Mayor Robert T. Kennedy